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Happy Birthday to the Mouse

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, December 9, 1998

Click on the candles. It's the thirtieth birthday of the computer mouse. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. He had been working on it for years at the Standford Research Institute. And 30 years ago this week, Douglas Englebart presented the first public exhibition of a new way for people to inter-act with computers.

"Well, there were like five people involved in making and testing it along with the others.Someplace along the way somebody started calling it a mouse just cause it was sitting there with one little ear and a tail. And no one can remember who started calling it that."

Xerox tried to market a computer system using the technology, but it was never a commercial success. It would take fifteen years before Apple Computer would incorporate the mouse into the Apple Lisa and then the Macintosh. Englebart today, in an office at Logitech, still thinking about where all this technology is leading. You may think it is all happening too fast, but Englebart says...

"I thought things would happen a lot more rapidly. And the world wide web has help a lot, but that's just the start."

At Logitech, which has shipped over 100 million mice, CEO Guerrino DeLuca continues the innovations...

"We sell today, something like ten different mouse shapes and three different trackball shapes and functionality levels. And the reason is that everyone is different."

Remember to say happy birthday, when you click.